Being new to hunting is very exciting – your adrenaline is high, you’re honing your skills, and you feel like you’re on top of the world. However, in the midst of that, it’s easy to make mistakes.
While hunting, mistakes can mean everything. You can improve your hunting experience just by being wary of some common errors.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at 6 mistakes that most rookie hunters make. If you’re mindful of these mistakes and take action to avoid them, you’ll notice significant improvements in your hunting abilities.
1. Forgetting to Scout
A very easy mistake for rookie hunters to make is forgetting the importance of scouting. Scouting is the act of identifying common locations for your intended hunt and planning your stand location accordingly. Look for beaten trails, tracks, water locations, and sleeping nests.
You may think that scouting in the warmer months is just something for trophy-hunters but making it a habit can benefit all levels of hunters.
Any experienced hunter will tell you – frequently, hunting is a waiting game. Patience pays off in the long-run. If you’re too antsy, or not prepared to wait in silence and stillness for an extended period, you’re going to severely damage your ability to hunt.
Patience even goes back to scouting. Like we mentioned, if you have a good idea of where your animals are going to be, hunting is just a matter of waiting for them to show up.
3. Settling for a Mediocre “Spot”
This is especially applicable when hunting on public lands. Many rookie hunters will settle for the “first good spot” that they come across when entering the designated area. This can be a huge detriment as it is often closer to public roads, vehicles, people, and other animal deterrents.
When hunting on public lands, you can improve your hunt immensely by walking more in-depth into the area and carefully identifying a spot that meets several characteristics. A good hunting “spot” is:
- Far away from other hunters
- Out of sight of any other tree-stands or chairs
- Far from public roads
- In a quiet location
You may even need to walk a couple miles before you find a suitable location – but, trust us, it will be worth it.
4. Bringing Foreign Scents on the Hunt With You
The animals that you are hunting have a heightened sense of smell when compared to humans. Because of this, you must be very careful about what scents you bring along on the hunt with you.
A prevalent mistake of rookie hunters is filling up their gas tank the morning of the hunt as opposed to the night before. Gas is a very pungent odor that deer and other animals will quickly pick up on.
Precautions for scent control could even be as extensive as monitoring how fragrant your bath soap, toothpaste, and deodorant are.
5. Lack of Familiarity With Your Equipment
As a rookie hunter, it’s easy to be unfamiliar with some of your equipment. You may have even borrowed some things form a former hunter friend if you’re new to hunting.
However, it’s so important that you know how your equipment works before you go out into the field. There is nothing worse than having a great shot set up only to realize you can’t find the safety or making too much noise fumbling through cocking your gun.
Additionally, safety is imperative while hunting and knowing your equipment is one way to ensure you stay safe.
6. Wearing the Wrong Clothing for Your Particular Hunt
Don’t be the guy that shows up to the field and has to borrow bits and pieces of clothing from everyone. Clothing is one of the most vital parts of a successful hunt, and it’s relatively easy to assess what your hunt will require regarding clothing.
Clothing not only keeps you camouflaged out on the field – which is a vital role of your clothing that must not be overlooked – it also keeps you comfortable. If you want to be able to remain in the field for a more extended period, ensuring you have the most opportunities for a kill possible, then you need to wear clothes that will keep you comfortable.
Wearing layers is a great idea because it allows you to raise or lower your temperature based on conditions throughout your hunt.
It’s Easy to Overcome These 6 Mistakes That Most Rookie Hunters Make
All of these mistakes are easy to overcome. If you’re serious about hunting, one of the most significant choices you can make is to look out for the small details.
The smallest factors can significantly affect your hunt, and if you follow the tips listed above, you’ll have noticeable improvements. Don’t let yourself fall victim to some of the most common mistakes that rookie hunters make.